The Vista firewall is very capable and adjustable - you can filter outbound traffic just as easily as changing the rules for inbound traffic. The difficulty lies in not being able to easily see what traffic you need/want to block. Here's a link to a free tool that others here have used: http://www.sphinx-soft.com/Vista/order.html
Most "good" firewalls will notify you of each incoming and outgoing connection attempt and let you set rules for them. This is a PITA when you first set up a new firewall, but it quickly calms down to a manageable level.
FYI - I need a good firewall to not only protect my system, but also to inform me of threats that my 2 teenagers have unwittingly found on the web. Otherwise I'll spend most of my day researching the syslog from my router.
So - I've used ZoneAlarm on my Vista system and it didn't like it very much (BSOD) although it did notify my of all incoming and outgoing traffic - and the uninstall was also a bit painful. The Kerio firewall that I tried wasn't as informative as I'd hoped for, so I uninstalled it.
I just decided to try the Webroot Desktop Firewall and so far it's asking all the right questions. It's free, but requires an email address to get the download (you're offered the chance to opt out of further emails later on).
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able. - John
(my website: http://www.carrona.org/
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